Soccer-Ivanovic blasts open title race as Chelsea win at City


Feb 3 (Reuters) - Branislav Ivanovic's first-half cracker and tactical mastery by Jose Mourinho helped classy Chelsea to a 1-0 win at blunted Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Monday.

Chelsea's battling win was the first time previously rampant City have failed to score at home this season and sent the Londoners level on 53 points with the second-placed Mancunians, two points behind leaders Arsenal after 24 games.

Ivanovic struck just after the half hour when Ramires' effort was blocked by Vincent Kompany and fell for the Serbian right back, who let fly first time from the edge of the box and saw his powerful left-foot shot nestle in the far corner.

City had chances to equalise but a dangerous Chelsea side, who also hit the woodwork three times, were always a threat on the break in an absorbing contest at the Etihad stadium. (Writing by Mark Meadows; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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